Time was now really running out if we were to achieve our goals of super glue purchase to make the repairs and get to the airport on time. Read Part 1
“We’ll have to get a taxi. I think it’s the only way we are going to do it.” Being the major road to the airport hailing a taxi was no problem and luckily, the second shop we visited did have the desired product.
Gluing the plate was easily done, however, I didn’t manage to clean up the drops, which squeezed out through the hairline join. Although it was useable and I could smile in my normal fashion exposing my teeth, by the time we arrived back on the mainland after a successful meeting where we cemented our new business partnership, the pain in my upper gum, from the blisters, was severe: a consequence of the blobs of glue rubbing on my soft palette.
My ongoing problem had now become a severe inconvenience. My mouth had been unremarkable, undergoing the usual drillings and fillings that most of my pre-fluoride age, national health compatriots also were subjected. In fact, I rarely gave my mouth a thought. It was just there. It chewed and swallowed and chewed some more. All this changed in the winter of my twenty-eighth year.
It had been a particularly cold winter. Soccer was never much fun when the weather was that cold. The ground never thawed, the permafrost creating a hard bed to fall upon when the opponents tackling brought you to the ground, the regulation shorts and sleeveless vests not providing much protection. It was in this numbed state that I took a tackle, which knocked me sideways. I saw the boot advancing. There was nothing that could be done. It was on a perfect course to land full on my face. Bracing, I took the blow, full force in the mouth. I heard the shoe connect with my teeth, the sound of the gristle moving from around them, travelling to my ear from the inside. I tasted the blood in my mouth as the tears came, unbidden to my eyes.
“You’re lucky,” the dentist told me. “They’re loose but they’ll firm up again. A couple of caps and they’ll be good as new.”
Of course, they weren’t. They constantly ached, particularly when it was cold. The pain would travel in tracks up my cheek, into my ear and along my jaw. I ignored it for numerous years. Having emigrated to Australia the cost of dental care was expensive. There was no National Health here. When I did visit a dentist the talk was of root canal therapy: a prolonged treatment over weeks. I ignored it.
Leaving it for so long the dentist said, “Two of them will have to come out. It isn’t a problem because you can have a partial plate which can hook around these two teeth which are quite solid.”
Reluctantly I agreed and soon the partial dentures were in place. Apart from the feeling of something stuck on the roof of my mouth, which of course it was, I’d had no trouble up to now. The baguette was the start of my plate breaking at inconvenient times on a far too frequent basis. I never left home without a tube or two of superglue. I started being wary of what I ate. Apples were out as was crusty bread and any hard lolly. Steak was a problem as were firm cooked vegetables. The list of food that I avoided was growing, as was the buildup of super glue on the plate. When possible, I started to surreptitiously remove it and put it in my pocket whilst I ate and replace them equally furtively, on completion of the meal.
The plate was becoming increasingly uncomfortable to wear, so at home, I tended to remove it and leave it lying around. Beverley was starting to hate it, as she’d see it staring up at her from the kitchen bench, on the hall table, coffee table and many unexpected places. I probably wasn’t that attractive either as I’d smile my toothless smile at her and I know that the suction the gap created was huge. She’d scream in pain as I sucked her earlobe affectionately in passing, only to have it disappear under great pressure into the void of my mouth through the space between my teeth.
Then of course there was the difficulty of finding the choppers. Not only did I have to look for the car keys but also the teeth were equally hard to find. Beverley would have to carry out delaying tactics when friends came unexpectedly, giving me time to find them.
Crunch time came when they broke yet again but this time it was different. I could no longer glue them back together and get them in my mouth. Beverley left me in the car attempting to fix them. Eventually I joined the party, my teeth in place. I smiled reassuringly at Beverley. Her smile froze.
To be continued……..